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Tagle: Spread the good news, put a stop to fake news

“Let us put a stop to fake news. We are not called and consecrated to bring fake news [but] only good news,” Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged during the Chrism Mass on Maundy Thursday.



Photo courtesy of CBCP News.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged faithful on Thursday to halt the spread of fake news and disinformation in the country and instead called on people to evangelize with the good news.

“Let us put a stop to fake news. We are not called and consecrated to bring fake news [but] only good news, especially through the integrity of our lives,” Tagle said during his homily at the Chrism Mass at the Manila Cathedral.

Tagle also stressed how fake news proliferates through manipulation and disrespect of the truth.

“True communication happens in the context of a covenant relationship. Manipulation thrives in the context of disrespect. That’s why fake news proliferates,” Tagle said.

According to Tagle, spreading disformation contradicts God’s call of evangelization, which is about sharing good news.

“‘I can deliberately deceive people because I have no covenant relationship with them. I don’t care. I only want to manipulate the truth so I get what I ought.’ That is not evangelization,” he said.

He added: “Evangelization is a fact of daily life, we always communicate with good news. We cannot contain it. Good news begs to be shared. And good news begs for hearers of the good news.”

Tagle, moreover, reminded the clergy to listen and be attentive of God through the poor.

“It also requires attentiveness to the human condition – attentiveness to the poor, to the captives, to the blind, to the prisoners, those who are shackled, those who cannot breathe. We need to silently listen to them, and listening to their stories, we are reduced to further silence,” he said.

The Manila Archibishop has repeatedly slammed the rise of disinformation for political propaganda. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines also released a pastoral letter against fake news last year, reminding Filipinos to “preach the truth,” avoid and eradicate fake news.

Last year, the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media have started the probe on the spread of misinformation, especially on social media. The committee held its second hearing on fake news last Jan. 30.

Sen. Grace Poe Llamanzares, meanwhile, has filed Senate Bill No. 1680, which seeks to penalize public officials that will peddle fake news reports. Sen. Joel Villanueva also filed Senate Bill No. 1492 that proposes to sanction false news.

The Chrism Mass, which is celebrated every Maundy Thursday, is a religious service in the Catholic Church where bishops bless oils to be used for the sacraments for the liturgical year, and where priests gather in their respective dioceses to renew their vows.—H. M. Amoroso



Help those that have lost their way, UST parish priest says



UST parish priest urged everyone on Wednesday to help out and pull everyone else up, not just the selves.

“We must pull not only [our own selves] up but everyone else as well,” Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. said during the mass in honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

“Whenever someone loses his or her way, we need to help and pull that person up,” he added.

This, after sharing that Frassati helped others rise to the top as the Italian Lay Dominican wanted everyone else to be with him.

“For him (Frassati), that place on top, he didn’t like it when he’s the only one there. He wanted others to be there with him so he helped them by pulling them up,” Coronel said in his homily.

Coronel also said Frassati saw every person in need as Jesus.

Meanwhile, Coronel stated that an individual “just exists [and] do not live” when one does not have faith.

Beatified by Pope John Paul II, Frassati was dubbed as the “Man of the Eight Beatitudes.” He is also the patron saint of the UST Senior High School and the Young Thomasian Professionals Lay Dominican group.

The feast day mass was organized by the Young Thomasian Professionals Lay Dominican group and the Social Communications Ministry of the UST Santisimo Rosario Parish.—H. M. Amoroso


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Tagle: Respect those who differ from their beliefs



Photo courtesy of CBCP News.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on Wednesday called for respect despite religious differences, following President Duterte’s “stupid God” remarks.

“We respect those who do not believe in God. All people should strive to respect those who differ from their beliefs,” the Manila Archbishop said in a letter to priests.

“We Catholics should respect non-Catholics and their religions,” he added, quoting the Second Vatican Council.

Tagle, who was in Geneva for a UN conference on migrants and refugees, also told the faithful to be calm amid the furor against Duterte’s comments.

“Be at peace. Be calm. Don’t let things disturb your inner peace. Let us read the situation with the eyes of faith,” he said.

In the statement, Tagle stressed that disputes about God and the Bible is not new, saying questions “are always raised and will continue to be raised.”

The archbishop, moreover, reminded Catholics not to be distracted from other pressing concerns confronting the country.

“While these questions are extremely important… let us not be distracted from addressing other pressing concerns with the fervor of faith and love,” Tagle said.

Among the issues he listed are increasing prices of goods, job security, exploitation of women and children, violence in homes and neighborhoods, different types of addictions, crimes, vulnerabilities of overseas Filipino workers, traffic, flooding, reconstruction of destroyed cities, terrorism and corruption.

Tagle urged the devoted to unite and “contribute to positive responses according to each one’s capability” to address these concerns.

Last June 22, Duterte in his speech called God “stupid” for the Bible’s creation story.

The President remained unapologetic on Monday. He stated that it is “a freedom” to choose a God to believe in.

Malacañang also said on Monday that Duterte was only expressing a “personal belief.”


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Be firm in faith, Villegas urged faithful amid Duterte attacks



Photo courtesy of CBCP News.

Former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Archbishop Socrates Villegas urged the faithful on Monday to “stay in the truth of our faith,” following President Duterte’s remarks on Christianity.

“Through social media, you have been sadly exposed to the cursing, threats, and shaming by the President of our country. Choose to love him nevertheless, but stay in the truth of our faith. Be firm in faith,” the Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop said in a letter addressed to the youth.

In his speech last June 22, Duterte decried and called God “stupid” for the concept of “original sin.”

Villegas, however, advised to pray for the President as he “could be a victim of a scarred past” but also to rebuke his comments.

“He must have received so much rejection and hurts in the past that he blurts out so much hatred and angst now. If he had been loved much, he would be giving so much of that love, too. He could be a victim of his scarred past and his wounded background,” Villegas said.

He added: “Pray for him with compassion. We pray for his healing and for God’s forgiveness of him but we must rebuke his errors about our Christian faith.”

Villegas explained that the creation story in the Bible is not meant to describe the scientific beginning of the world.

He also said that “original sin” roots from one’s “trust in deceit rather than truth.”

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque defended Duterte’s remarks on Monday, saying the President was expressing a “personal belief” and he is “entitled” to that view as all people are.

The government has formed a three-man committee that will conduct talks with the Catholic Church and other religious groups. The members of the committee are Roque, foreign affairs undersecretary Ernesto Abella and EDSA People Power Commission member Pastor “Boy” Saycon.—H. M. Amoroso


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